Reliance Jio, on October 20, announced that it will join hands with US-based Qualcomm to develop an open and interoperable interface compliant architecture-based 5G solutions based on homegrown technologies.
The tie-up puts India in an exclusive club of nations with the capability to offer superfast speeds of 1 gigabyte per second (Gbps) to users.
During their testing, Jio and Qualcomm announced that they achieved speeds of 1 Gbps on the Reliance Jio 5GNR solution, leveraging the Qualcomm® 5G RAN Platforms. This achievement not only supports Jio’s 5G credentials but also signifies the entry of Jio and India into the Gigabit 5G NR product portfolio.
What does this mean for users in India?
Jio users will be able to browse the internet at up to 1Gbps speeds once 5G networks rollout in India. Jio, which is India’s largest mobile operator, has over 40 crore subscribers, and added over 35.54 lakh subscribers in July, according to telecom regulator TRAI.
The partnership with Qualcomm builds on the commitment by Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, who announced in July that Jio was developing made-in-India 5G technology, giving the country control over coveted know-how that is the foundation of a digital economy.
Currently, only a few countries around the world have 5G networks rolled out. These include the US, South Korea, Australia, Switzerland and Germany. In India, the government is yet to allot spectrum for 5G. India is expected to auction 5G airwaves in 2021, and Ambani has said that Jio is ready to deploy its network the same year.
“Jio is ready with a world-class 5G solution. Field deployment can happen next year. This 5G product will be available for trials as soon as the spectrum is available. Jio Platforms will be positioned for 5G solution to other telecom operators," he said at the 43rd Annual General Meeting of RIL in July.
Smartphone brands too are launching 5G-ready devices in India. However, a vast majority of 5G smartphones are available in the premium to ultra-premium category.
Reliance Jio, in partnership with Google, is developing affordable 4G and 5G smartphones based on Android, a development which could bring cheap smartphones to hundreds of millions of Indians and undercut dominant vendors from China.(Disclosure: Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd.)